Foreword by Al Barr of the Dropkick Murphys

Happy St. Patrick’s Week! The Dropkick Murphys come up a lot in my new book, Celtic Punk Superfan, but here’s a story that didn’t make the cut. At my last job, I was an editor for books about music. I worked on My Riot, the 2017 memoir by Roger Miret of the legendary hardcore band Agnostic Front, which included a foreword by Dropkick Murphys singer Al Barr. As a longtime Dropkick Murphys fan, I was glad to edit Barr’s piece.…

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Flogging Molly & NOFX: The Only 2 Bands Mentioned in All 4 of My Books

I’ve published four books since 2016: Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, Punk Rock Hora: Adventures in Jew-Punk Land, Air to the Throne: A Poetry Chapbook about Air Guitar, and, just this week, Celtic Punk Superfan: Recaps & Reflections Chapbook, 2002–22. While plenty of bands come up in three of the four, only two artists appear in all of the books: Flogging Molly and NOFX. Flogging Molly Flogging Molly are one of the primary subjects of Celtic Punk Superfan.…

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Jewish Blessing of the Animals Ceremonies on the Rise

When I wrote a feature about Jewish blessing of the animals ceremonies in 2009 and attended my first such event in 2010, they were not widespread. I documented 21 synagogues or other Jewish groups that had hosted at least one. At least 10 events took place around Shabbat Noach in the fall, when the Torah portion of Noah is read, although other times of the year were also chosen. The ceremonies have become more common. Last October, Shamayim: Jewish Animal…

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Roundup: My Jewish Holiday Writing

Over the last year and a half, I’ve gone back and looked at my writing about Jewish holidays since 2005. I considered anthologizing it in a book or zine but settled on an online series instead. I’ve recapped my past articles and blog posts, which were penned mainly from the perspectives of veganism/animal protection and Jewish punk. Not every post has the same format, but they pull together my past writing about each holiday. Here is a roundup of my…

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Roundup: Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

I’ve written about the High Holidays a lot since 2005! There’s too much material to do a comprehensive post, so here are some highlights. Veganism and Animal Protection All of the following blog posts about veganism and animal protection are from heebnvegan, the Jewish/vegan blog that I ran between 2005 and 2010. I wrote related High Holidays articles for other websites, but they haven’t survived the changing tides of the internet. I blogged about Rosh Hashanah meals. I organized a…

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Playing Air Guitar in a Jewish Metal Band’s New Video!

The Jewish metal band Hashem’s Warrior released a video for “Dveikus in the Darkness,” and I’m one of several air musicians on display! In June, I was thrilled to see that Hashem’s Warrior encouraged fans to submit videos of them “headbanging, playing air guitar, actual guitar, etc.,” along to the song. Not only was air guitar specifically invited, but it came before there guitar! I can be seen air guitaring at 0:08 and 1:22 of the video, clad in a…

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Radical Shofar

In 2017, I wrote a JTA feature about Jewish punk bands’ use of the shofar, focusing on Yidcore, Schmekel, and Steve “Gangsta Rabbi” Lieberman. The piece had a lasting impact, being cited in The Wisdom Daily, two Forward articles, and a trivia question. The article listed other musicians who experimented with the shofar, including electronic artist Alvin Curran and jazz saxophonist Paul Shapiro. For Rosh Hashanah in 2018, I intended to pitch a “Radical Shofar” playlist—featuring songs from those five…

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Welcome to MichaelCroland.com

Welcome to my new website, MichaelCroland.com! I’m thrilled to have a site with a new direction that reflects where I’m at as a writer and editor. I launched my previous site, OyOyOyGevalt.com, in 2016, shortly before my first book, Oy Oy Oy Gevalt! Jews and Punk, was published. That site, including the blog, revolved around promoting the book and my interest in Jewish punk. When I published Punk Rock Hora: Adventures in Jew-Punk Land in 2019, it made sense to…

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Shabbat Roundup

Over the past sixteen years, I’ve written a lot about Shabbat from the perspectives of punk/music, vegan cooking, and teachings about animal protection. Here’s a roundup of the highlights. Jewish PunkIn 2016, I discussed ways to “punk up” the Friday night service—including choosing Green Day, Ramones, and Mahones melodies for “Adon Olam” and innovating Anarchy “L’cha Dodi”—and one prayer where I went in the opposite direction, choosing to “Be holy, not speed-punk.” The most musical treatment was my 2017 Jewcy…

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Roundup: Shavuot & Summer Holidays

The weather is getting warmer, and the countdown is on. Shavuot starts Sunday night, followed by other Jewish holidays this summer. Here’s a roundup of my writing about these timely topics, through the lenses of Jewish punk and vegetarianism, over the past fourteen years. Counting the Omer It’s traditional to count the forty-nine days leading up to Shavuot. In 2007, I created the Counting the Omer blog, where I provided a different reason to go vegetarian each day. The final…

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